Monday, January 01, 2018

Frozen New Year

This isn't the first time since I moved to New Hampshire that we've had a period of bitter cold to deal with. Not even the first time since we moved into our current house. But I don't remember having one this early for this long.

The one water line in the basement that freezes, not hard enough to split the PEX water pipes, but enough to block the feed to the basement sink and the water line to our refrigerator, usually does so sometime in February. But we're keeping a little electric heater turned on in the basement sink base right now to thaw it out. For the second time this season.

So, yeah, it's cold. If we're lucky, about a week from now, the weather will break and we will look forward to temperatures in the 20s. Meaning daytime highs in the 20s. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it does make a difference.

I know that I have been neglecting the blog and the site for more than a month. There have been computer problems, schedule problems, and some family issues to deal with, including losing our beloved Ambush to kidney disease and having Karen take a tumble on the stairs from which she is still recovering.

It will be at least a week or so before I can start posting pictures on the site again regularly, but I will begin doing so as soon as I have alternate computer resources (or have repaired the ones I normally use for the task). I'll try to be better about blogging, too. I don't expect the schedule to be much better this year (Karen and I are still on conflicting and unpredictable schedules, and William will be back at work this summer, possibly doing two jobs), but I'm going to try to develop better writing habits all around.

As usual, I have my plans and goals for the year to come. I'm sure that most of them will not turn out as I plan, but working toward them will get me closer than if I'd had no goals at all. 2017 had its good moments and some really terrible ones, which only serve to make 2018 seem like a good fresh start. A blank page, to be sure, that thing dreaded by writers the world over. But a blank page still promises to be something worthwhile if you just keep your fingers on the keyboard.

That's what I'm hoping for this year, even when the keyboard is only a metaphor for my musical instruments, my cameras, and my recording gear. When 2019 rolls around, you will, I hope, have an inkling of how I did.

Meanwhile, I wish you all the best in this fresh new year, no matter the weather.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Opening Weekend

An evening off from the theater, after four rehearsals and three performances in eight days. I'm tired, but very satisfied. The shows have been great, the audiences even better, and our little barbershop quartet has actually been getting cheers for the harmonies we've worked so hard to perfect.

Rehearsal was complicated a little by a widespread power outage that started on Monday. The theater didn't have power, but the high school did, so the high school's theater director, who happens also to be playing Harold Hill in our production, arranged for us to rehearse on the high school's stage. No props or sets, no costumes or makeup, but we did well.

I missed Tuesday because I had to work (and we still had no power), and so dove directly into full dress rehearsals on Wednesday and Friday. Tiring, but very satisfying, and before we even knew it, there was an audience out there. Three shows, a few minor glitches but nothing serious, and some seriously happy customers.

And I'm seriously tired. This show is fun, but it's also a very difficult show for anyone singing in it. My fellow members of the River City school board and I spent a lot of time perfecting the harmonies of "Sincere," "It's You," and "Lida Rose," even singing it together during costume changes to make sure we were hitting the right chords.

I don't think I've ever been able to link the words "obsessive" and "casual" in the same moment, but that's what it was like. Although we obsessed over the notes, we never stressed over it. If someone was uncomfortable and wanted to give it another try, we just started singing, enjoying the result when we all hit the right chord, and heading to the piano or the pitch pipe when we didn't with a vow to do it until it was right.

After a little touch-up Wednesday, we'll do three more shows. I'll be able to rest and get on with some neglected projects when it's done, but I'll also have a serious case of post-show let-down.

And at some point, maybe next year or the year after, when the right play comes along, I'll do it all again.